For some, such harsh weather could have caused regret for making the move to Wisconsin. For Kathy, just the opposite feeling took place.
“I loved it,” Kathy remarked.
Kathy and her husband, Joe, moved to Hudson in 2008, which became a pivotal year in their lives. Kathy’s dad died that year and her mom came to live with them. Shortly after, Joe became ill. Over time, the responsibilities and realities of her life became overwhelming.
Kathy had been attending Faith Community Church and read about biblical counseling in the FAITH Hudson magazine. She decided to try it and met weekly with Pennie Bixler for about two months.
“The first couple of times, I just cried.” Kathy said.
In her experience with secular counseling, she was used to being handed books or resources to read.
“With biblical counseling, they use the Bible as the book.” Kathy said. “That’s the biggest difference to secular counseling.”
One of the first assignments that Pennie gave to Kathy was to write a list of 25 new things she was thankful for each day. She started to be mindful of the little things in her daily routine and to become specific in her appreciation. While she admits to missing a few days of completing the task, Kathy also credits the assignment to making thankfulness a part of her daily mindset.
“I became more hopeful and calm,” Kathy said. Her husband noticed the changes in her right away, too.
Another assignment that Pennie gave to Kathy was to look up three Bible verses on thankfulness or gratitude each day.
“Out of that came joy and hope,” Kathy said.
Through the counseling sessions, Kathy began to look at idols in her life that were taking her away from God. She began to seek how to live differently so she would not continue worshiping the idols.
Something else that developed during her time in biblical counseling was a new way to look at the art she was creating.
“It’s something I have played with but never really did anything with it,” Kathy commented.
Kathy creates her art in a journal. She had one page that she felt was missing something. After a few weeks of biblical counseling, she returned to the page and knew immediately what was missing. It was the word, “thankfulness.”
Kathy and Joe return to Florida for a few months each winter. She’s planning to hold her first art show there.
“I now feel like I’ve found my focus.”
She continues to return to the Bible to remind herself of God’s truth and to renew her new attitude of authentic thankfulness, even in the midst of life’s daily challenges.
First published in “FAITH Hudson,” Winter/Spring 2015, a publication of Faith Community Church.